Questions tagged [history]

For questions related to history generally. Use the [church-history] tag for the history of the post-NT church.

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Was Paul's Relationship with Jewish Leadership Close Enough to Act as Their Agent?

After reading this question on judaism.SE I wanted to pose a version of it here. (You know, it's facinating to see how Judaism views us....) Paul's letter to the Hebrews could be described (and ...
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1answer
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Are there documented reports about Jews around the time of Jesus? And what did they say about the first christians?

Are there any reliable documented reports of Jewish individuals, leaders or groups, around the time of Jesus? Who were they? And what did they say about Jesus and/or the first Christians?
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What prompted the change in Christian attitude towards usury?

Lending with interest between Jews is a sin in the Old Testament, which should have gone away for non-Jewish Christians According to Wikipedia, it was only proscribed by Christianity later; at ...
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Why is St Martin “in-the-Fields”?

I was reading about the Anglican church St Martin-in-the-Fields and was curious about the in-the-Fields part of the name. It is named after Martin of Tours who was a saint in France during the 4th ...
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1answer
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What are the duties of a Pope? Can a pope be “good” or “bad” in this perspective?

Is there something like "bad" or "good" popes"? What is the meaning when a pope is qualified "good" or "bad", with the historical perspective. For instance, some popes have bad reputation in the ...
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1answer
808 views

Is every single minute of the year a mass being celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church? If so, since when?

Update: as stated by brasshat's answer below, the Good Friday mass is not celebrated in the Roman Catholic world. Naturally, this makes the answer to my question apparently trivial. It is not totally ...
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1answer
79 views

Biblical era gesture signifying peace between two parties? [closed]

I am working on a painting set in the Biblical era which shows a military group confronting another group. I am trying to find a gesture which the leader of one army would make to indicate that they ...
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Acts 11:26 regarding the word Christian?

Referring to Acts 11:26: Did the people (unbelievers) of Antioch call the "Believers" Christian, or did the Believers start calling themselves Christian first in Antioch? Here is what I mean: Acts 11:...
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What oil was used at the time of James?

James 5:14-17 discusses healing through the anointing of oil. Surely these days we have plenty of different types of oils but what oil was used at the time of this scripture being written?
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When will be the end of the Catholic Church on earth by definition?

Matthew 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. Is there any teaching of the ...
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What liturgical languages were used in the worldwide church/broad christiandom around 500 AD?

I understand that the western church used Latin, the eastern church used Greek, and the far eastern church was using Syriac. Was it only those three languages? Or were other languages in use as well ...
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Does the Russian Orthodox Church venerate the saints of the Orthodox Church in America?

After the Russian Revolution, the Orthodox Church in America became nominally independent of the mother church. The OCA has since canonized saints who lived in Russian America such as German and Petr (...
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Was any of Flavius Josephus' work relevant to the Council of Nicea?

I noticed that Eusebius transcribes the entirety of Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum in 324 AD, and that the First Council of Nicea occurs in 325 AD. Does any of Josephus' work feature throughout the ...
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Did St. Thomas Aquinas write anything about historiography?

I was curious as to whether or not St. Thomas Aquinas every formally laid out any principles to be adhered to when writing/studying/interpreting history or ever elucidated a theory of the "nature" of ...
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Where was Joseph when Mary visited Jesus on the cross? [duplicate]

Not much was mentioned about Jesus's foster-father. Mary visited Jesus, but where was Joseph at when Jesus was being crucified?
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What was the amount of bread and wine used when Jesus did communion?

I could imagine that times then were hard and food somewhat scarce. A whole loaf of bread divided equally would be a small meal and a bottle of wine could serve well to wash down the bread. I could ...
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Authenticity of the Pontius Pilate's letter to Tiberius Caesar?

Just looking to find out if this alleged Letter of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar is authentic or a later forgery? I don't care how it physically describes Jesus, just want to know how it was found ...
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Did some Christian sects ever hold the opinion that ritual slaughter was obligatory, before the 10th century?

Like this question, I am curious about whether Christian doctrines used to hold the opinion that a ritual slaughter (with it rules and conditions) had to be done when slaughtering animals, ...
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What, if any, are some first-millenium mentions of prohibitions or approval of interracial or international marriages?

While in the last few centuries there have been particularly American Christians arguing against interracial/intercultural/international marriage (I believe the term is "kinism"), I do not know of ...
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Are there any positive statements of the golden rule in extra-biblical literature?

What is commonly called the golden rule is stated by Jesus in Matthew 7:12: In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. (NET) ...
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301 views

Request: Christian demographic statistics at the time of the reformation

I suspect I won't be able to get any good answers but I think it's worth asking anyway. I'm curious about what Christian demographics looked like at different points in history. For example what ...
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1answer
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How did early childhood baptisms started in Catholicism?

Jesus got baptized at an age old enough to decide for himself. Today, I always see infants getting baptized. According to Catholicism, when, where and how did early childhood (infant) baptisms got ...
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329 views

Has a pope ever been corrected publicly by a non-cleric in the presence of cardinals because of his immoral conduct?

Has a pope ever been corrected publicly by a non-cleric in the presence of cardinals because of his immoral behavior? As we all know, popes are not immune to living sinful lives. In fact, several ...
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460 views

What did Christians write about Muhammad during his life?

Are there any records written by Christians about Muhammad that were written during his life? If so, what did they say about him? I would be very surprised if the Church of ~600-630 AD didn't have ...
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328 views

How possible is it that the Septuagint / LXX wasn't specifically quoted in the NT?

Couldn't it be possible that the NT writers quoted from a Hebrew or Aramaic Old Testament, and that the Septuagint was transliterated afterwards, or that the NT was later translated to match the ...
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Was Catholicism chosen by the Roman Empire because of synergies to Roman hierarchy?

I was watching a documentary on the History Channel recently and they mentioned that when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, they chose Catholicism because of its similarities to the ...
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Has a pope ever been corrected publicly by a non-cleric in the presence of cardinals because of the unclear wording of a papal document?

At the moment there is a lot of talk about four cardinals who have submitted a dubia to Pope Francis regarding the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. In one article it stated that: "any 'fraternal ...
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What are the six original sons of Israel that Exodus 28 speaks off?

As I was reading about the garment Aaron needed to wear I came across this and was confused because I have always read about the 12 tribes and how God used each Jacobs children as a tribe. Please ...
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1answer
549 views

Is there a reason why the story Bel and the Dragon is included in the Book of Daniel by some churches and not by others? [closed]

The story of Bel and the Dragon seems disjointed and like a strangely put together fairy tale, yet most churches include it as apocryphal literature and others believe it to be canonical. What were ...
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What happened with the schools of Luther and Melanchthon?

I know that Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon tried to oppose the school system introduced by the Catholic Church (according to Luther, Oxford and Cambridge model was influenced by the Paris ...
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432 views

Did Pentecostalism lead to Cessationism in the modern Reformed churches?

I understand that several theologians throughout church history believed that the gifts of the Spirit had ceased or mostly ceased. It didn't seem like a huge point of contention for them as it is ...
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129 views

Does Jesus' public reading of the Scriptures imply that he had any authority within the religious community?

In Luke 4:17, Jesus reads from the Scriptures during a religious meeting. The passage reads, Luke 4:16-21 (NIV) He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went ...
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301 views

When was the first African American ordained in a US Presbyterian denomination?

In Presbyterianism, a distinction is typically made between preachers who are "licensed" and those who are "ordained." One who is licensed has permission to preach regularly in a particular ...
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How long was David on the run from Saul?

When Saul suspected that David was going to take his throne, he tried to capture David to prevent this from happening. How long was Saul chasing David?
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476 views

Testimonies of the existence of Mary and Joseph

There are 30+ historical accounts of Jesus's existence. A subset of these would also seem to be evidence for the existence of Mary and Joseph. What is the historical evidence (besides what is ...
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Does a comprehensive list for apostolic succession exist?

I'm actively studying apostolic succession and am trying to make a website (with API) that would try to make a timeline. However, finding the links between two bishops/priests is very hard to do. I'...
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Was Herod Antipas an official king?

There are different Herods in the Bible. We have Herod the Great who ruled when Jesus was born and Herod Antipas, who ruled later. I have seen in several places that Herod the Great is called "king" ...
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140 views

Why did Ninevites respond the way they did? [closed]

I'm reading through the book of Jonah, and in an historical context it doesn't make much sense to me. Nineveh was part of Assyrian empire. It practised Ashurism focused on worship of of Ashur and ...
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1answer
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Why is the Crucifixion said to have been between 30-33 AD, if Jesus was born between 4-6 B.C. and lived to be 33 years old? [duplicate]

Here are the facts as far I know: Jesus must have been born between 4 and 6 B.C. to precede Herod. Jesus's ministry begins when He was about 30 years of age He engages in a 3-3.5 year ministry He ...
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3answers
362 views

How is the ‘Resurrection of the Holy Ones’ in Mt.27:51-53 understood by those who consider it a literal, historical event?

This question is very similar to a question I just asked, but it's not a duplicate (just hear me out). Since there are many ways to read the Bible, I wanted to understand multiple points of view, that ...
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2answers
379 views

How is the ‘Resurrection of the Holy Ones’ in Mt.27:51-53 understood by those who do NOT consider it a literal, historical event?

Since there are many ways to read the Bible, I wanted to understand multiple points of view, that being: 1) those who understand this as a non-literal, non-historical event (modern, liberal scholars, ...
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1answer
690 views

Did William Cowper believe himself to be saved at the end of his life?

The 18th-century poet William Cowper is best-known in Christian circles for the hymns he wrote, like "There is a fountain, filled with blood" and "God moves in a mysterious way." He had deep ...
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Why did John Newton oppose Handel's Messiah?

Recently, while listening to a lecture on worship by Kevin Twit, I was surprised to hear John Newton's opinion on Handel's Messiah: John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace," refused to let Handel'...
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What are the arguments that Acts was written prior to 70 AD?

What are the reasons, whether theological or secular, for concluding that the book of Acts was written prior to 70 AD? Please also view the related question What are the arguments that the book of ...
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What are the arguments that the book of Acts was written after 70 AD?

What are the major reasons, whether theological or secular, for concluding that the book of Acts was written after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD? Please also view the related question: What ...
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1answer
252 views

Are incenses burned inside LDS temples like the ancient Jerusalem Temple? Why or Why not?

I apologize if this question is not appropriate because I understand and I respect that the ordinances performed within the walls of LDS temples are sacred and holy and are not talked about. However, ...
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3answers
183 views

Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon a common Near Eastern motif?

In 1 Nephi 8, in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi has a dream/vision in which he sees a Tree of Life. This dream is retold to his family. His son, Nephi, was particularly interested and desired to ...
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What is the origin of throwing dust over head (as a sign of mourning) in the Bible?

In Job 2:12, when Job's friends first see Job at a distance, they "did not recognize him, and they raised their voices, and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads....
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179 views

Why are slaves and slave women mentioned distinctly in the Old Testament?

Deuteronomy 5:14 reads: But the seventh day is a Sabbath unto Yahweh your God; you shall not do any work, or your son, or your daughter, or your slave, or your slave woman, or your ox, or your ...
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113 views

Why did Jason attack Jerusalem?

In 2 Maccabees 5:5, Jason attacks Jerusalem. Why does he do this? There is a false rumor that Antiochus has died, but Antiochus was attacking Egypt. In 2 Maccabees 4, it says he becomes high priest ...

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